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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Helm, John B. 'John B. Helm to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon060b.html


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43. John B. Helm to William H. Herndon.

Hannibal Mo 27th June 1865

Dear Sir

Yours of the 25th inst. is received.

In answer to it I will say, that you would have to apply to some one older than I am to tell when Stump Speaking and Camp Meetings were first introduced into Kentucky — My understanding is that they were both institutions brought by the first emigrants from their Mother country Virginia I have an old relative sitting by me ten years older than I am — who says you would have to apply to some one older than she is to tell when stump speaking and Camp Meetings were introduced into Ky.

You may safely say they were introduced immediately after or with the closing of the Indian Wars that attended the first settlement of Kentucky.

Very little change ever took place in the manner of Stump Speaking except at the two presidential elections, first When Harrison was elected and the next election when Polk was elected

The Whig party sung Harrison in — at the next election the Democrats beat the Whigs all hollow and sung Polk — The manner of stump speaking in Kentucky has always been to pit the best speakers one on each side; and some times two or more on each side. The speakers generally lawyers were as respectfully to each other as if in a court Room at the bar

Camp Meetings with the Methodists has ever been an institution of the church and every neighborhood had its Camp Meeting regularly once a year after harvest and before the frosts of Winter — No material change in the institution ever took place amongst the Methodists — Other churches have from time to time had their Camp Meetings — but just like the Whigs in 1840 when they under

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took to beat the democrats and out sung them — so with other churches they have had all sorts of doings at their camp meetings

Candidates that could speak at all, generally spoke at all political meetings — Those who could not speak would go on the stand and announce themselves candidates — this took place almost invariably at county and Circuit court which is over in each month.

If you disire to know anything of the Bush family — I know them well

I shall get the information you asked for in relation to Lincoln very fully in a short time — [1]

J B Helm

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2215 — 16; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:27 — 29

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Helm, John B. 'John B. Helm to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon060b.html
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